Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Health Reform - A Report from the Conference

A panel of experts, including Bill Dombi from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and others, pondered the future of health reform given the ground shaking Massachusetts election results of last month. From my notes, the most interesting points were:

  • The Democrats are now completely focused on the upcoming November elections and trying to determine how to "play the loss"; they're also waiting to see what the Republicans do in response to the President's challenge that it's now their turn to offer a solution.
  • One panelist (David Introcaso) stated that "it's all about politics now, not policy."
  • All of the experts agreed that the White House has been inconsistent in its messaging regarding next steps and how much of a legislative priority this will now be for them.
  • Perhaps there will be progress on the provisions on which this is significant agreement (transparency, preventing fraud and waste, creating quality-based incentives, ACOs, insurance reform, etc.)
  • Bill Dombi stated that: "Washington is exhausted right now on this issue" as this has been "such a heavy lift"; the panelist discussed whether there will be enough energy and political will there to resume this issue and press forward. Some thought yes, others no.

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